Gardening Blog – Why Not Grow Your Own Summer Veg?

Most vegetables are easy to grow although they do need regular care and attention. But then it looks as if we are going to be around to do that this Summer…

You might try…  tomatoes, runner beans, french beans, courgettes, cucumbers, cettuce and other salad leaves. Also squashes and pumpkins but they take lots of space and can take over your garden! All of the above are best started indoors or in a cold frame.

  1. Seeds. Look on-line and you will find an amazing choice – see below for suppliers. Or if you have neighbours or friends who ‘grow their own’ then they will probably be only too happy to let you have spare seeds.
  2. Small pots (or trays) to get your plants started. Plastic pots like yoghurt pots are fine – look in your recycling container – but don’t forget to make holes in the bottom so that excess water can drain out. Or ask gardening neighbour again if they have any spare pots.
  3. Potting Compost is best but could be difficult to obtain – suppliers below – but garden soil will do.
  4. Labels. Wooden labels – lolly sticks are good – you can write on these in pencil. Or old plastic ones – need a permanent marker pen – or make your own.

You are ready to go! Fill your pots with compost and lightly firm.

Write your labels with veg name, variety and date and put in the pots. Very important to do this before you sow if you are sowing different seeds at the same time.

Read the seed packet to see how deep your seeds need to be sown.

Make holes ready for the seeds using a pencil, end of a label or your finger. Larger seeds such as runner beans, courgettes go 1 to a pot. Smaller seeds such as tomatoes sow 2 or 3 in each pot and if they all germinate then you take out the weaker ones to leave only 1 plant per pot.

Pop your seeds in and cover with compost

Water and place pots on a tray on a light windowsill (or in a conservatory, cold frame, greenhouse)

Water as needed. Keep the compost moist. A little every day but If on a sunny windowsill then that might be twice a day.

Do not over water or stand in water. You don’t want a waterlogged pot and rotting seeds!

Your seeds will germinate in a few days time – but some can take up to 2 weeks.

Planning Ahead

Where are you going to plant them out? What will you need?

From late May on, when the danger of frosts has past, you can plant your young plants outside.

Most of the crops can be grown in large pots or grow bags. If growing in garden soil and you have enough compost then do dig holes bigger than you need and half fill with compost.

Some plants will need support (tomatoes, runner beans, cucumbers) Something to grow up and to tie them to. You might want to order canes when ordering compost.

Good luck!

Local Suppliers for Seeds and Compost

Toad Hall are taking orders but they temporarily remove the order form when they get more orders than they can cope with. Keep trying!

They were operating an ‘ order and collect’ service as well as deliveries for the elderly and vulnerable.

I am reliably informed by a fellow plot holder that Sheeplands Hare Hatch are open for gardening items although their web site just focuses on food. See

National Seed Companies

There are dozens. Here are 3 that I have used recently and are still open.

Potting Compost

If availability locally appears to be a problem then you might have to resort to Amazon or ebay to source this. A general multipurpose compost is what you want – preferably peat free for environmental reasons. The usual large compost bags that you see stacked at Toad Hall are 50-75 litres. If you are just sowing a few seeds then you might find that a 20l bag is fine and also easier to handle.

Questions or Queries?  Email me and I will try to help……….